You may be able to sue the VA if you have been the victim of medical malpractice. If you or a family member have suffered serious personal injuries as a result of the negligence of a federal employee, you may be able to bring a claim against the Department of Veterans Affairs. If the negligent health care provider in your case committed malpractice at a VA hospital, the case may be governed by the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). The FTCA is a federal law that allows plaintiffs injured by the negligent acts of federal employees to file claims against the United States for damages.
Guide to Sue the VA
Before you can sue the VA, you must present an administrative claim within 2 years of the date of negligence to the appropriate federal agency before filing suit. The VA must be given at least six months to conduct an investigation before suit can be filed in federal court. If the claim is denied, a claimant must either request reconsideration or file a lawsuit in federal court within six months of the date of denial or the claim is forever barred. In addition, some state law pre-suit requirements may apply to your case, depending on the jurisdiction. Talk to your lawyer about what conditions must be satisfied before bringing a lawsuit against the VA in your case. If you are unable to resolve the case administratively, then suit must be timely filed in federal court to recover against the government.
- File a Standard Form 95.
- Fill out the Standard Form 95 correctly, including correctly identifying your damages, the amount of compensation you’re seeking, and a description of the injuries.
- Attach any supporting documentation, if you think it would be helpful. A lawyer can assist you in determining what supporting documentation would be helpful in resolving your case quickly.
- File the Standard Form 95 with the correct administrative office. If you do not know what office to file your SF95, seek legal counsel. If you incorrectly file your SF95, you may not be able to recover compensation for your injuries.
Should I File an Administrative Claim Myself?
- You need to file a Standard Form 95.
- It must be filed with the correct Veterans Affairs office.
- It must state the nature of your claim and a “sum certain.”
- The Standard Form 95 must be filed within 2 years of accrual of the negligence.
Once the Standard Form 95 has been filed with the appropriate federal agency, then you must work with the agency to resolve your claim. There are a lot of pitfalls if you do not know what you are doing. If you cannot successfully resolve the claim administratively, you have the option of filing suit so long as you file within the appropriate limitations period.
Our attorneys have decades of trial experience and are able to assist you in this process. Please contact us if you need a free evaluation of your claim.
Once you have filed your Standard Form 95, you must wait at least 6 months (maybe more depending on the course of your administrative claim) before you can file a federal lawsuit.
If you believe you are a victim of medical malpractice at an VA hospital, call us now—if you wait too long, it may be too late.